Years ago we tried one of the old reel mowers after I picked one up at an auction for a few bucks. Even after sharpening the blade it took a lot of power to push through the grass. I tried it and really couldn't manage more than a wimpy swath. Mowing entailed taking a running start with the mower and maybe advancing a few feet before having to pull it back and start again. After completing the lawn my husband came in the house with grass in his hair, on his glasses, and even in his teeth. Needless to say, we abandoned that idea. Our intentions were noble.
Now that manufacturers have come up with lighter and more efficient models it was time to consider this option again--no engine, no oil, just pushpower. I was able to order this Gilmour Reel Mower using Longaberger myDream Points. These are points we Longaberger Home Consultants earn with sales, sponsoring, etc. We can spend them on our choice of products. I didn't even have to pay shipping! Nice! I believe this product retails for under $300.
The assembly was so simple that I am sure I could have done it myself. As I was expecting it to be more difficult I had already asked my husband to help. It only took about 10 minutes and several of those minutes were used going to the basement to get a Phillips screwdriver.
The sun was setting but I was determined to get the front lawn mowed since we had not done it yet this spring. We've had so much rain it is hard to find a time when the lawn is dry. The mower works great! It fulfilled all my expectations. It is a good workout for me but not so difficult to be discouraging or to leave grass in my teeth and hair. My forearms were a little sore the next day so I figure that is good for me.
Conventional lawn mowers produce a lot of air pollutants because there is no regulation on mowers. If you have a reasonable size lawn, this is a fine way to maintain it. The reel mower doesn't cut down everything. If there are some dandelions, it is likely to leave the flower stalks sticking up. This sort of thing doesn't bother us because we don't expect our lawn to look like a golf green. If you have young children around the reel mower is a safer alternative because it is unlikely to throw an object. In fact, one disadvantage is that sticks tend to lodge in the blades so you have to stop periodically to dislodge them--or else make sure the lawn is devoid of sticks to begin with. We live on the edge of a woods so we do have to rake the sticks or stop to dislodge the sticks that catch.
As for maintenance, you just have to clean the mower after use. That doesn't take but a minute or two to wipe the grass clippings off with a brush. The Gilmour comes with a grass catcher that hooks on behind but we tend to let the clippings fall back into the lawn.
Since that first maiden mowing, we've mowed the back yard, which we like to keep on the wild side, and I've done the front again. The Gilmour Reel Mower is a great little machine!